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Preparing for a sleepover

preparing for a sleepover
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A house full of squealing giggling girls or packed full of loud and boisterous boys – a thought that gives many parents nightmares and what is universally known as ‘The Sleepover’. As much we may resist these gatherings, for kids they are the height of fun and make up memories that take them through childhood. Whether it’s just one child or several, you want to ensure the sleepover is a success for both your child and your own sanity!

Plan the date

Preparing for a sleepover is essential so plan the date carefully. You want to avoid any midweek arrangements or nights where you have an important meeting at work the following day. Stick to weekends, holidays or just for special occasions such as birthdays. You want your child and their friend/s to enjoy the sleepover but you need to set boundaries and ensure children stick to the rules. With the added confidence of their friends being there, your child may try and push for more and more but don’t succumb to pressure and be clear to everyone as to what is expected. You want to make it fun for all though, so stock up on plenty of snacks and treats and rent a good but suitable movie that they can stay up a little later and watch.preparing for a sleepover

Sleeping arrangements

If there are several children staying over, you might want to suggest they bring their own sleeping bags and pillows to ensure they all have somewhere suitable to sleep. You should be sensible and realistic with your child when they are choosing how many to invite and if you have a set limit, stick to it. If you’re happy to cope with 10 teenagers and have the space in your house that’s great, but if not, then don’t give in to impractical or crazy ideas. Suggest suitable alternatives and compromise where possible.

Set the rules

You should have a set time to turn out the lights and settle down a bit, but expect lots of giggles and whispers as this is usually the most exciting time. Children often try and stay awake as long as possible and telling scary stories. Allow them some whisper time but if it goes on far too long, gently remind them of the rules. Leave a hall or toilet light on and ensure all children know where the bathroom is to avoid any unwanted visitors stumbling into your bedroom at night!

During and the aftermath!

If there are any children who are a little nervous, reassure them it will be fun and if they get really upset, let them call their parents, arranging for collection if necessary. For added excitement, let them make a den in their bedroom out of spare sheets and older children may want to camp out in a tent in the garden with torches and food to snack on. Only do this if their parents are comfortable with them sleeping outside and you have a safe and secure garden.

You should also be prepared for an early start and ensure you are up and armed with toast, cereal and juice to feed their hungry mouths. Arrange a pick up time before hand with parents of other children so that you aren’t stuck with a child for longer than expected as their parents have gone out to do the weekly shop.preparing for a sleepover

Going to a sleepover

If your child has been invited to a sleepover at someone else’s, make sure your child is comfortable going. Some children may love the escape from their parents where are other may get nervous about being away from home for a long period. If they haven’t already, suggest they just go for tea first or take their PJs and stay until later on, having tea then getting ready for bed before you collect them.

Some parents will feel more comfortable with their child staying somewhere only after they have met the other child’s parents and been in their home. So chat to them first and make sure they are actually aware of the sleepover and its not just their child giving the go ahead! You could go in and speak with them when you drop your child off and make sure you have their contact numbers in case of emergency.

On their best behaviour

Let your child know that if for any reason they become upset or frightened, they can call you and if necessary, you can collect them. Make sure they understand the rules of the home they are staying in and what might be acceptable in your house, might not be acceptable in others. You want your child to be a good guest as well as a good host so stick to some basic ground rules and indulge them in this right of passage, even if you do try and keep it to a minimum.

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About Rebecca Robinson

About Rebecca Robinson

After spending the last 8 years juggling life as a mum of two, wife and working full time as a Project Manager for a global telecommunications company, Rebecca Robinson made the decision to follow her love of writing and took the plunge; turning her passion into a full time career. Since becoming a full time writer, Rebecca has worked with various media and copy-writing companies and with the ability to make any topic relevant and interesting to the reader, now contributes to The Working Parent on articles ranging from credit cards to teenage relationships. Ever the optimist, Rebecca's dreams for the future include a house in the country filled with children, dogs and horses in the field!

Website: Rebecca Robinson

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